When choosing a home theater projector, buyers are well aware that they need the best multimedia device, but do not always understand the intricacies of its characteristics. Now many models of the world’s leading companies are represented on the domestic market of the Russian Federation: Sony, Epson, Optoma, BenQ and others, so choosing a decent projector, and not an analogue of a Chinese assembly, is not so easy.
Pros and cons of the device
Projectors for home theater have appeared on the domestic market recently, but immediately gained popularity among the wealthy part of the buyers. Over time, the production of these products increased, budget models appeared, which are enjoyed by representatives of different segments of society. Like any other technique, projectors have their advantages over TVs and are not without drawbacks.
- good ratio of the diagonal of the screen and the cost of the projector;
- the kit takes up much less space than a TV with the same diagonal.
- preparation of the premises is necessary;
- the screen is purchased separately, if with a remote control (remote device), then at the price of a budget projector;
- noise impact from the cooling system;
- Periodic replacement of the lamp is required if the projector is not of the LED category.
Before touching on the issue of choice, you should know what projectors are. There are several divisions.
- professional are used in cinemas;
- homemade suitable for organizing a cinema at home or for games;
- fairly inexpensive devices for education and business, the characteristics of which do not imply high image quality.
Divided by size:
- stationary from 20 to 50 kg;
- portable from 5 to 10 kg;
- compact or ultra-portable models weighing up to 5 kg, which are equipped with a battery, which makes them possible to use autonomously.
According to the principle of image construction, projectors are of the following types.
- LCD (TFT) model of translucent type with one matrix.
- 3 LCD model of translucent type with 3 matrices and a system of mirrors. The difference lies in the fact that each matrix transmits the color of a certain spectrum. Passing through a system of mirrors, they are again combined at the output, which forms a high-quality image in terms of color reproduction.
- DLP projectors. Light is reflected by a system of micromirrors. The matrix can be either one or three. The downside is the rainbow effect.
- LCoS. The principle of operation is similar to LCD, but the main difference is that the matrix here does not transmit light, but reflects it.
- LED projector based on LEDs.
- Laser (Pico) — a pocket projector capable of creating a diagonal of 120 inches. Often the size of such a projector does not exceed a mobile phone.
By aspect ratio and resolution:
- 4:3 (640*480, 800*600, 1024*780) — recommended for viewing photos or presentations;
- 16:9 (1280*720, 1920*1080, 3840*2160) — widescreen picture, the best option for games and movies.
- UHP — mercury lamps (long service life, relatively low brightness);
- xenon — they are distinguished by a high brightness of the luminous flux, they do not last long, but they heat up more strongly;
- LEDs — high durability, low heat, mediocre brightness;
- laser — good brightness, can project on any surface, long service life and high price.
To choose the right projector, you need to consider a number of parameters.
Purpose of purchase
If the device is bought for presentations (office, school, etc.), then you can stop at inexpensive models with low resolution. For the home, you should consider a resolution from HD and a widescreen picture.
For the home, you should consider models from HD, but ideally, you should focus on FHD. Should you pay extra for UHD projectors? At this stage in the development of projectors, no. Their price is quite high, while there are very few models with true 4K, and not an increase in the number of pixels by reducing their size.
The most common 3 LCD, LCoS and DLP. LCoS are quite expensive, the golden mean is 3 LCD or DLP. The latter are often criticized for rainbow Effect, but many manufacturers have been able to minimize this effect, so there are no serious reasons to refuse to buy them.
Brightness and Contrast
Brightness is measured in lumens. Here you should focus on the possibility of darkening the room. If viewing will be carried out during the day, and it is impossible to close the curtains, then you should choose a device with high brightness. The higher the contrast, the better the color reproduction.
Any projector requires maintenance, and the main consumables are lamps. As you operate, you may encounter the fact that it will be problematic to buy lamps. It is best to stay on LED models, but you should understand that their brightness is low, and they are not the best suited for rooms with good lighting.
Here are a few more non-basic, but rather important parameters that make it possible to increase the comfort of equipment operation.
- Minimum distance to the wall. If the room is small, then you should choose projectors that can form a large diagonal from a distance of a meter.
- Noise level. If there is a powerful speaker system, and the room is large enough, then this is not a problem. If the room is small and the acoustics are modest, then the noise from the projector can interfere with comfortable viewing.
- Additional functions — Internet connection, viewing from flash drives, the presence of OS and more.
Advice! It should be clarified what the device will work from, and immediately choose a model with interfaces that will not lead to the purchase of various kinds of adapters.
The best projectors
At the end of the topic, a short list of 2020 projector models with a good price-parameter ratio is presented.
Xiaomi Mijia Projector Youth – DLP projector with LED lamps (up to 30,000 hours of service life), low noise level, Android on board, which makes it possible to use standalone or broadcast from smartphones. Resolution — FHD, there is support for HDR. The minimum distance for projection is from 1 meter, the maximum diagonal is 5 meters. There is an excellent set of connectors. The model is compact, only 1.3 kg.
Minus — low brightness (500 lumens). Suitable for dark rooms.
The device feels great as a versatile option for the home, but will not appeal to true moviegoers. Price: from 34,000 rubles.
inVin 272G — a budget option for the office with LED lamps, 800*480 resolution, low noise and light weight of 1 kg. The model has VGA and RCA connectors, which allows you to connect to old devices. Diagonal — from 90 cm to 3.8 meters. The disadvantage is the brightness (160 lumens), however, with windows closed with blinds, this is enough. Price: from 5,000 rubles.
BenQ TH585 — a fairly inexpensive DLP projector with an FHD picture and UHP lamps, excellent brightness of 3500 lumens, a good set of interfaces, and a high contrast ratio of 10000:1. The device is perfect for those who are looking for a really high-quality picture for watching movies or playing games. Minus — not the best volume and low lamp life (about 4,000 hours). Price: from 41,000 rubles.
What should be the distance between the projector and the screen
For standard products, 2.5 to 4 m is required for the image to be clearly focused, but this distance is not acceptable for all rooms. In this case, it is necessary to purchase a short-focus device that perfectly transmits an image at a distance of 1.5-2 m.
Pay attention to products that can change the focal length of the built-in optical system. Just install the device and make the necessary settings on the spot.
Such a projector has one feature: the farther from the surface on which the image is projected, the larger each pixel stands out and, accordingly, the entire image as a whole.
Choosing a screen
In second place after the projector itself is this device, without which there is no home cinema. The screen can be purchased on a tripod stand. But there is a better solution: buy an inexpensive hanging option and mount it on the ceiling. This is a real space saver.
When buying, it is important to remember that Chinese specialists have already copied all screen models. Therefore, ask the seller for a certificate.
When choosing a screen for a projector, special attention must be draw on material: Priority is given to products with a matt white finish or a light gray canvas. They make it possible to place viewers and projection equipment more freely.
Choosing a place to install the device
The projector has been purchased, the screen has been selected, it remains to arrange them correctly. There are many options for use: the device is installed on a coffee table, high bedside table, or mounted on a special bracket to the ceiling.
Keep in mind the subsequent serviceability and availability of the replacement projection lamp.
An ordinary, led or laser home theater projector is designed to provide comfort and convenience for watching various films and video materials, so it must work silently, have excellent characteristics in terms of brightness, resolution and color reproduction. Before heading to the store, take a look at the best projectors by user reviews — you might like one of these top models.